I recently shared a post about creating a healthier sexuality. I had a couple of gals email me to ask what helped me most on my journey toward sexual freedom.
I primarily looked for truth.
My family, my abusers, my culture, my church culture, boyfriends, ad infinitum told me lies and distortions about my sexuality. I took the time to write out those messages and challenge them with the truth of scripture. I prayed and asked God to show me His Truth.
It was pretty hard at first because you tend to hear only those things that agree with what you believe and I was looking at changing some pretty foundational beliefs. For example, I had to really listen to my husband when he said that he wanted to have sex with me for more than just the sex, that he wanted real intimacy. My first reaction was to disbelieve him. Guys just want sex, right? <buzzer going off> Wrong! Guys are people too. There are some really great guys out there that love their wife and want all kinds of intimacy.
I prayed a lot. I stumbled onto Theophostic prayer and found it to be an amazing tool in digging up the lies I had adopted as a child (yes, I know it seems kind of goofy at first glance, but it is scriptural and many are finding freedom using this tool).
I had to do some growing up (more study and prayer). Some of my sexual issues came from not feeling like an adult. If you are a kid, sex is something you sneak around to do. I had been sneaking around having premarital sex. I knew it was wrong, but the sneakiness added to my poor sexual self image. I had to confess sin and pray for help with the fall out of that sin. Then I had to own that now I was an adult and married so sex was not only permitted but something to be fully enjoyed.
For a good while I was very careful about the entertainment I watched or read. There are so many bad messages in our culture and I was trying to get my head around the truth. I didn’t need reinforcement for the lies I had been taught.
And much of the time, I just stepped out in obedience because I didn’t know what else to do. I chose to have sex (in whatever way and at whatever frequency I could handle at the time). It was difficult and felt unnatural, but I have found through experience that the only way something is going to feel more natural is if you start doing it and practicing it. Honestly, there were times when I felt like a total idiot. I just knew that quitting would surely mean I wouldn’t heal and grow. Even a really sad attempt would move me forward a little in my understanding and abilities.
To those who are on the journey now, I would encourage you to follow a few blogs and read good books (see below). Those things weren’t around back when I was struggling, but reading truth about your sexuality can help you chip away at the lies you believe. It can give you ideas to try and encouragement to keep going.
The other thing I would suggest is finding a good friend or small group where you can share, be prayed for and generally be encouraged to continue the journey toward health. I have a couple of gals that I share coffee with and a mixed-gender group that meets weekly to explore healing and growing up. I don’t think we are meant to struggle alone. God designed us for community. That can be scary, but at the same time, it can be amazingly helpful.
If you have been struggling for a number of years and feel stuck, I would encourage you to get a counselor. Sometimes we need someone with a different perspective who has the skills to help us get untangled from the lies we believe.
So here are some resources: (if you know of any other good resources please leave them as a comment to this post)
Good blogs on sexuality – (check them all out, wander around in their archives and look for something that is a good fit for where you are right now)
Good books – (take to the time read the reviews on Amazon)
There is one other source I can recommend ~ The Marriage Bed. Paul and I created The Marriage Bed to be a safe place to learn about sex and discuss sexual issues from a Christian perspective. The forum is mixed gender and at times it’s a bit like the wild west. We do have a crazy talented team of moderators, but there are hundreds of posts a day. (If someone gets snarky with you, please do report it. We don’t tolerate rudeness.) You can ask any question and you’re likely to get some thoughtful, caring answers.
Hang in there gals. It’s worth the effort. Day by day, step by step, you can get there.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32 ESV
(in)courage: A Prayer for the Sexually Exploited Love this prayer. (I put her book on my “to read” list. It sounds pretty interesting.)
SafeAtHome: Is Debt Slowly Stealing Your Family’s Health and Wealth? Living a debt-free life can be done. What a freedom!
Lysa TerKeurst: I Want To #BEaNOTICER With My Words Find the good.